Category Archives: Christianity

Good news: U.S.’s biggest retailer of Christian books and merchandise closed after bankruptcy

Reader Alexander sent a link to an article in Publisher’s Weekly (PW), which Wikipedia describes as “an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents. Published continuously since 1872, it has carried the tagline, “The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling”. With 51 issues a year, the emphasis […]

Peter Nothnagle: No evidence for a historical Jesus

Reader Peter Nothnagle sent me the transcript of an Easter talk, “Jesus: Fact or Fiction?”, that he gave last March to a joint meeting of the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Iowa City and the Secular Humanists and the Secular Students at Iowa. I was much impressed with Peter’s success at distilling all the scholarship around the historical […]

Nicholas Kristof, religious doubter, interviews a dead certain Christian pastor

We have to have at least one post about religion today, and here it is. Oy! The New York Times, for its Sunday Christmas Review, features a long interview of Pastor Timothy Keller, an evangelical Christian whom the interviewer, Nicholas Kristof, characterizes as “among the most prominent evangelical thinkers today.” Keller is also the author […]

Not much evidence for a historical Jesus

Apart from angry letters I get from believers—or kinder ones in which they pray for my salvation—perhaps the most frequent genre of emails in my box is about the historical Jesus. While I’m about 99.9999999% sure that any Jesus person who lived wasn’t divine, the son of God, or a miracle worker, I’m not all […]

It’s time to ponder whether a Jesus really existed

I’m always surprised at how much rancor is directed toward “mythicists”—those who deny that there was a real Jesus who, whether or not he was divine, was the nucleus around which Christianity accreted. I’m also surprised at how certain many biblical scholars are that Jesus existed (Bart Ehrman, to give a prominent example). Yet although I am the first to […]

Make it better

by Grania A number of people over the years have pointed out that almost anyone can improve upon the Ten Commandments with minimal effort; the original set of ten (or ten-ish) moral laws by which humans were purportedly to live their lives. What appears in Exodus is so old that its ethics are more concerned […]

In desperate attempt to draw adherents, German church conducts a Star Wars service

This is pathetic, but clearly shows how quickly religion is on the wane in Western Europe. It’s been dying there for some time, and now pastors, seeing its death throes, are trying a new form of CPR: using new movies as themes for services. No, it’s not enough that people get dressed up of a Sunday […]

Sin and The Sinner

by Grania I noticed a comment that said something along the lines of trying to find common ground for a person while despising most of their political beliefs was somewhat like the old Christian aphorism “Love the sinner, hate the sin”.   It’s a slogan that makes most liberal people, even  non-atheists, choke a little. But it […]

Special Easter movie on television!

Reader Ed sent me an email about a television program that I’ve seen advertised for several weeks: “The Bible Continues.” It’s a Jesus-themed show, of course, and will be shown on NBC tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time (8 p.m. central): Ed’s email said this: You’ve probably been made aware of this by now, but I just […]

Merry Easter Day Greetings!

by Matthew Cobb This Easter cartoon by Stephen Collins appeared in The Guardian’s Weekend magazine (click through *twice* so you can read it without it being obscured by the book covers on the right, or if that doesn’t work go here).